SafetyCulture Summit 2020

Kansas Reoepening

Protect fellow Kansans from COVID-19 during and after reopening with a digital checklist

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Published August 4th, 2020

The Current State of Kansas amidst COVID-19

To reopen Kansas’ economy, Gov. Laura Kelly introduced a phased approach called the Ad Astra Plan. Currently, the state is under phase 3 of the plan which began on June 8th. On 22nd of June, Gov. Kelly announced that the state will remain under Phase 3 due to a spike in COVID-19 cases.

Ad Astra: Getting to know Kansas’ Phased Approach

Ad Astra is the phased approach of safely reopening businesses in Kansas. This framework does not aim to return the state to pre-quarantine conditions, but instead pushes it to adapt to “new normal.” Each phase of the Ad Astra plan promotes fundamental mitigation practices and reopening guidelines to help ensure a safe and healthy environment for the community before and after reopening.

To have a clearer picture of the difference between the phases of reopening Kansas, refer to the table below:

 

Phase 1

Phase 1.5

Phase 2

Community centers

Large entertainment venues with capacity of 2,000+

Fairs, festivals, parades

Commencement ceremonies

Swimming pools

(Most swimming pools) 

Organized sports facilities, tournaments, and practices

Summer camps

Bars and nightclubs (excluding already operating curbside and carryout services) 

Casinos (non-tribal)

(if compliant with KDHE approved guidelines)

Indoor leisure spaces

Fitness centers and gyms

Personal service businesses 

Childcare facilities

Libraries

Phase 3

Phase 3 has fewer restrictions as compared to its predecessors. It allows all schools,, and establishments to resume operations while still following appropriate public health guidelines recommended by the federal, state, and local authorities. Gov. Kelly has announced statewide that masks must be worn at all times when in public spaces.

Phase Out

Once the state is in this phase, the Governor will include additional recommendations to maintain public health and safety. Among these are:

  • Local governments retain authority to implement equal or more stringent restrictions, except as to essential functions in KEFF.
  • All businesses and activities should follow mass gathering guidelines and implement the appropriate public health measures.
  • Individuals should continue following hygiene protocols and practice social distancing when applicable. High-risk individuals should still be cautious.
  • Any federal restrictions imposed are still in effect and must be adhered to.

Learn more about the detailed guidance per phase here.

The move towards each phase will be determined by monitoring testing rates, COVID-19 hospitalizations, ability to contact trace, and the availability of personal protective equipment.

Kansas’ Reopening Guidance

The following are recommended public health measures to be taken during the reopening process:

Individuals

  • Stay home as much as possible, especially if you’re sick.
  • Maximize physical distance (6 feet or more) in public settings.
  • Avoid socializing with large groups.
  • High-risk individuals should only leave the house for essential needs.
  • Minimize nonessential travel.
  • Practice proper hand washing hygiene. Use soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol. 
  • Use cloth mask in public settings.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily (e.g., phones, keyboards, doorknobs, handles, and light switches).

Employers

  • Develop and implement appropriate policies in accordance with federal, state, and local regulations and guidance and share with employees.
  • If possible, continue telework or consider use of variable work schedules.
  • Use nonmedical cloth masks.
  • Frequent handwashing of employees and/or use of gloves (note: wearing gloves does replace good handwashing practices; gloves must be changed frequently to be effective).
  • Incorporate engineering controls such as the use of physical barriers to limit employees and customers to congregate in one area.
  • Reconfigure space to follow social distancing guidelines.
  • Support and enable employees to remain at home if they are unwell or have been in close contact with someone sick.
  • Establish strict cleaning routines and sanitizing high-touch surfaces.
  • Provide signage at public entrances to inform all employees and customers of social distancing guidelines mandated within your business.
  • Create a plan for potential outbreak or exposure in your community.

Additionally, the Department of Commerce and the Governor’s office have provided and compiled industry-specific guidelines to help businesses reopen safely.

Reopening Checklists for Businesses in Kansas

In the reopening of Kansas state businesses, following public health guidelines is crucial in order to lower the risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19 in the community. Until a vaccine is developed, business owners should proactively develop and implement health and safety policies in the workplace to protect not only employees but fellow Kansans.

To help Kansans, iAuditor by SafetyCulture provides resources such as reopening plan templates and reopening checklists that can be used to implement and manage health and safety protocols in worksites. Business owners in Kansas can use them for free to help protect their employees and customers.

Disclaimer: Please note that these checklists are hypothetical examples and provide basic information only. They are not intended to take the place of medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should also seek professional advice to determine if the use of such checklists are permissible in your workplace or jurisdiction.

Author

Jai Andales

SafetyCulture staff writer

Jai is a content writer for SafetyCulture based in Manila. She has been writing well-researched articles about health and safety topics since 2018. She is passionate about empowering businesses to utilize technology in building a culture of safety and quality.